Three Kinds of Money Dates That Benefit Every Woman
When you want to get to know someone you put some thought into how you want to spend your time with them. When you want to learn about and understand your money here are three kinds of money dates to help you do that. Read further to learn about The Money Date to Plan, Track, and Adjust, The Money Date for Guidance, and The Money Date for Education, Inspiration and Fun!
First Some Thoughts on Money Dates in General
Schedule them on your calendar! Make money dates a priority and do them consistently. You will become more confident and less anxious about the state of your finances because you are in touch with them on a regular basis.
Pay attention! Be aware of your environment and what you are experiencing in your body. Are there distractions that keep you from focusing or does the environment support an enjoyable time? Do you have excess energy? Are you nervous or afraid of what you're going to find? Find a way to release some of that energy. Do some dancing to fun music or go for a quick walk around the block. Have music you enjoy play quietly in the background while you sit down to look at the numbers. Keep some snacks and something to drink nearby to get you through when you are feeling anxious or nervous and need a momentary distraction. I recommend chocolate and sparkling water.
Once the date is completed, good or bad, you're going to find out that you feel a lot better for having been on it. If the date doesn't go as well as you'd like, give yourself a break. Know that you are getting to know and appreciate a new side of yourself or a part that you don't acknowledge very often. The more consistent you are the more comfortable this process will be.
The Money Date to Plan, Track, and Adjust
The first kind of money date is the kind you want to have happen the most often to build consistency and momentum in your money practice. Schedule the first of these dates for the beginning of the month. That gives you the most flexibility to create your monthly plan. You know how much money you have starting out the month. You can make an educated guess as to what you plan to bring in and take out during the month, based on what you know of the past, what's happening in the present, and what you know of the future. You know you have a workable plan when it leaves you with money at the end to start the next month.
Once or twice a week, schedule mini-dates. Sit down to track the flow of your money in and out of your accounts. A quick half hour and you're done. The secret to success is to go back weekly and adjust the plan based on what you now know of your present and any new information you have about your future, so that it is once again a working plan. You can move forward feeling more connected to your money and it will be glad of the attention.
If you feel overwhelmed just thinking about this type of date, you might consider asking for the help of a money coach, like me, to get you started and support you through the process. This is the foundation of a healthy money practice. Otherwise, you are traveling through life in a money fog.
The Money Date for Guidance
The second type of money date is more of an informational interview but why not treat it like a date? Get dressed up. Be on your best behavior and represent who you truly are. You want to communicate well together. You want to be able to trust each other. You are going to learn from each other. It is not a time to keep secrets or hold back information. If you do, they're going to get the sense you aren’t taking their time and information seriously.
Pick someone that has the information and experience that you want to learn about. They can be someone you want to buy services from or just somebody who you think is doing a good job with their money and you want to learn their secrets. What’s important about this date is that you want to learn what they know. The frequency of these dates depends on your needs and curiosity.
You want to be upfront and provide the facts, otherwise how would they know what information you need? There is no reason to feel stupid or shamed about where you are in your financial picture. If the other person causes these judgements to show up, by word or action, then they are not the one for you. In that case, the date ends badly but you still end up with useful information. Ask yourself if it went that way because that behavior shows who they are as a business person and therefore they are to be avoided. Or, is it something you believe to be true about yourself, and they are holding up the mirror, showing you what needs to be healed inside?
The Money Date for Education, Inspiration and Fun
The third type of money date is what I called the casual date. This can be as easy and casual as picking up a money magazine in the grocery store and reading the headlines or buying it and sitting down on the couch in your pjs with that ice cream and reading an article or two. You could be looking for people to play the game Cashflow 101. You could go to a meet-up to learn about investing in stocks or real estate. You don’t have to know or learn about everything to do with money. That would be overwhelming! The key is to focus on an area where you now have a smidgen of interest and make that a topic of curiosity. Go explore!
Getting to know more about your money and managing it with your internal wisdom is an ongoing practice. The more information you have the more aware you become to what you value and what you need to do physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially to be in alignment with those values.
I value conversation in response to what I write on money topics. Let me know what reading this article brought up for you. Do you go on money dates? Have I left out a type? What else would you like to learn about developing a healthy money practice? Leave your comments below or email me your questions.